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Ballymena will be ready for treble test in Senior League

By Ciaran Donaghy

Ballymena are hoping to build on their opening day success as they host Ballynahinch at Eaton Park in the First Trust Ulster Senior League.

Both clubs are unbeaten but the Braidmen have only played one game and team manager Sam McGreer is looking forward to a return to action.

“It’s been hard to build up momentum, we’d no game last week and now we have three in a week so we’ll know better where we are at the end of that,” stated McGreer.

“It’s great to be back and we’ll need the run. Against Ards we turned it on during the second half and our back line is looking strong.”

Lock Chris Smith is ruled out with a broken collar bone and Darren Best is missing so Bob Young and Ian Caldwell start. Michael Bradford and Scott Shannon are included in the loose forwards. Australian Robert Campbell starts at out half in a backline which includes Seamus Mallon.

Hinch have a win and a draw from their first two fixtures but are missing flanker Willie Faloon who is on Ulster A duty. Scrum half David Drake will play against his former club depending on how much game time he gains for the A team.

Robert Greer and Adam Craig are both doubtful while Ryan McBride and Gavin Morton are due to come into the backrow.

Fourth placed Rainey are facing an injury crisis as they host leaders Belfast Harlequins at Hatrick Park.

Five players are away at a wedding in Spain while scrum half Michael Wilson is injured so centre Alex McLaughlin switches to the pivot role.

Quins have maximum points from their first two games but are missing lock Neil McComb who scored four tries against Queen’s.

Dungannon are a point behind Quins but have had to dig deep to win both matches and face another tricky tie against Queen’s at the Dub.

Out half Richard McCarter is involved with Ulster A and the side will be similar to the won that claimed victory over Portadown last week.

Queen’s could give a first start to Ben Kennedy and are hoping prop Paul Karayiannis is released by Ulster A.

Instonians coach Clem Boyd is without nine tight five players and three centres for the trip to Portadown.

Niall Malone and Kiwi flanker Scott Uren form the midfield partnership while Portadown have injury concerns in the back row.

The bottom two, Ards and Banbridge, meet at Hamilton Park.

Belfast Telegraph


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